Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Debut of Family Stories in Stone

This is the debut post of "Family Stories in Stone." I'll be highlighting family stories that I've discovered in cemeteries. Have you ever wandered around a cemetery looking at the tombstones? The ones that always capture my attention are the older ones that maybe are crumbling or hard to read. Does anyone know their family story? Is there anyone left to tell it? Does anyone care?
Well, I do. It's fascinating to think that each tombstone represents not just one person's story, but a whole family's story. Here is a picture of the Wunsche/Wuensche Family Cemetery located in Spring, Texas in Harris County. It collectively represents not just one family, but is a representation of the German immigration to Texas, which started in the 1840's. It's also a symbol of all settlers of this area, which is north of Houston, Texas. A majority of the graves are of the Wunsche/Wuensche family and some belong to the Kuehlne family. This family cemetery is "sandwiched" between Spring High School and Interstate 45. [Yes, you read correctly.] In fact it's adjacent to Interstate 45, and it's a wonderful visual of juxtaposition...the new with the old. Most pass by this cemetery not ever knowing that it's here. Never knowing that they are passing history. While the cemetery is in need of some clean-up, for the most part, it is navigable and readable. There is only one marker that didn't have any inscriptions. However, the above ground crypts are in very bad condition. It seems a little lonely even though there is "busy-ness" surrounding it.
As the cars passed by at high speeds, and as the high school students went to and fro, I stood there taking pictures of the cemetery trying not to disturb the Texas wildflowers growing throughout the cemetery. Other than knowing that this family was a founding family of the area, I really didn't know what their family story was. Like everyone else, I just passed it by...until now.

To find out the Wunsche/Wuensche family story [and for one of the best places to get a burger], please read my new blog, "Texas Family Stories." It's a tour of Texas, one landmark at a time...Though the 2 blogs are independent of each other, they will sometimes intersect. Here's a riddle: what do you get when you add East Texas cemeteries to Texas landmarks?...Family Stories!